Study in an IIIT, live in a village – IIITV students struggle with hostel accommodation

Who would have thought that finding decent hostel accommodation for students would be a tough job for an IIIT? Despite the brand name that these institutes hold, IIIT Vadodara hasn’t been able to accommodate its students with hostel facilities as expected. IIITV is functioning from a single building in a transit campus inside Government Engineering College in Gandhinagar. Hence, the institute does not have enough place to accommodate over 250 students within the same building. The hostel building is located in a village called Pethapur, approximately 5km from the institute campus. Students and the institute management, both discussed their inconveniences and limitations with PaGaLGuY regarding this issue.

The management says the current hostel building
in Pethapur is the closest accommodation available for students. “The next
available option was about 12km from the institute,” says Chintamani Joglekar, IIITV
Registrar, and the sole manager of the institute’s daily operations. The
Registrar also spoke about an incident 2 years ago, when the students did not
have any hostel facility and the institute had to accommodate them in rental
homes for a week until the current hostel was available. No monetary returns were
taken from students for the temporary rent at that time. Students do complain about
their current hostels which provide only basic amenities like beds, tables,
bathrooms, etc. (Read here). Yet, they are considerate about the administration
making earnest efforts to provide the students with decent accommodation facilities.

At the same time, students face inconveniences
in their daily commute between hostel and institute. “There are limited options
of commute between Pethapur and the institute, since both are located towards
the outskirts of the city.” said one of the students in his third year. While the
institute has started a bus service between IIITV and Pethapur, its frequency
is quite less. The bus runs twice in the morning – at 7:45am and 8:45am, once
in the afternoon at around 2:15pm, and once in the evening when the students’
lectures have ended. Thus, students sometimes have to wait for almost 6 hours
to be able to catch the next bus to the institute or hostel.

While on campus, this reporter met a student
named Kenneth Tenny at about 2:30pm. He said that he was going to spend the
next 4 hours in the campus library, waiting for the next bus to leave to
Pethapur, even though he didn’t have lectures to attend.

IIITV charges its students extra fees of Rs 5,000
per semester for the bus services.  Joglekar
opines, “Since all operational activities of the institute are conducted
through the students’ fees, the bus facility too had to be charged to them.”

While the current hostel facilities provided to
the students may not be of the levels available in other IIITs, the
administration has made earnest efforts to tend to students’ comfort. The MHRD
hasn’t worked on this issue in the past 2 years and has left all such responsibility
with the Registrar (since the institute doesn’t have a Dean or Director). Every
new batch of students that comes in goes through the same protocol of disappointments,
then complaints and finally making peace with the situation.

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